Following the departure of Rev. Karen Bright, the Wesley at KC welcomed its new pastor/director Monday. Rev. Rebecca Hyde grew up in the north part of Houston and went to Klein High School in Spring, Texas, as well as Klein United Methodist Church.
“I want this to be a place where they feel like they can learn more about who they are and who God is calling them to be and who God is in ways that make sense for them,” Hyde said. “I think sometimes that God can feel super far away from us; God is so close and sometimes it’s hard to see that in the midst of all the things that we have to do. So I think my hope is that this will be a place where we’re able to draw close to one another and to God.”
She attended Sam Houston State University, which also has a Wesley Foundation, and is currently working on her master’s degree at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.
“I was a hot mess in college, so I did not hang out at the Wesley Foundation, so it’s part of why I’m so excited to be here now,” Hyde said. “I wish that there had been somebody in a place where I could have gone and been a hot mess, and there would have been people who would have loved me and hung out with me and kind of spoken to me in that, in a way that would have made sense for where I was at.”
Hyde has been a pastor for a couple years, but she was a youth director before for about eight years. Before her time in ministry, she was a preschool teacher for a few months.
“I was very excited to get the opportunity to come to Kilgore College and get to meet students and be in ministry here,” Hyde said.
She is engaged to Rev. Steven Newcomb, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Jefferson, where she attends sometimes.
“One of the nice things about being part of the United Methodist Church is we’re one big family,” she said. “It’s nice that I can kind of bop in anywhere on Sunday morning and I know what to expect of my Methodist family.”
She also spent time as a personal assistant for an event coordinator and was featured in MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” through this job. Rev. Hyde was appointed to KC’s Wesley by her district superintendent.
“It’s hard to be transitioning in life, and so my job is to come in and to be a resource for people and to offer the love of Christ in a time that can be really difficult and kind of tumultuous for these people. It’s a pretty sweet job,” Hyde said.
Many former Wesley students welcomed Rev. Hyde at the open house Monday.
“I think people have a real love and a fond remembrance of their college days,” Hyde said. “One of the strengths of campus ministries is that it becomes a family place, so what I think I’ve inherited is a new kind of family, and I hope to be able to be a good caretaker of that family.”